About Me

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

50th Birthday coming up!

Next Tuesday is my 50th Birthday. I am taking Monday and Tuesday off. My sister and my mom live in other cities so, we shall not be together. I do not want my friends to throw a party so, I told them that way in advance.

Yes, it is a big milestone and I should celebrate but how, I do not know. I just know that I want to be alone.

So, I will just spend 4 days on my own doing what I want to do. There are a couple of museums that I wanted to see for a while so, may be I will go visit them.

I thought of escaping to some place but could not decide where to go. Still thinking...

Once I had played "Tourist" in Istanbul visiting the places I had never been to and it was a nice experience. May be I will do that again. It has been some time since I have been to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. I may go there. One can easily spend a whole day in that area.

I was planning to buy some small gold coins as a part of my investment portfolio. Grand Bazaar is the place to get them. There are so many jewelry shops that, the prices are the best there. As you move away from that area, the jewelers escalate the prices since, there is not much competition. I have an old gold chain and some other small gold items, I had been wanting to sell and replace with something else. I might try that as well.

We'll see!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Emergency Funds When You Have Some Passive Income

I am a big advocate of Emergency Funds. Even a mini EF with USD 500.- can be very handy in case of an emergency and when you are low on cash.

A lot of people have difficulty in determining how much is good enough for a healthy Emergency Fund. This depends on a variety of factors such as the size of the household, one's age, the stability of income sources, whether there is some passive income and how much is available to earmark as Emergency Fund.

I have gradually built up my Emergency Fund from USD 1000.- to a very healthy level. I am on my own so, after I passed the USD 1,000.- Threshold, I have targeted to set aside at least three month's worth of expenses as my Emergency Fund. Once I achieved that, I targeted for more. Before I had some passive income, I was at one point, able to set aside a whole year's worth of expenses which was quiet an accomplishment.

Now that, I have some passive income, I have a smaller Emergency Fund, knowing that, there is a steady flow of money on a monthly basis.

I do not like to disclose my real numbers. So, let's say;

Monthly Expenses: USD 4,000 (This should include everything)
Rent Income: USD 750
SS Payment: USD 1,000
Monthly Deficit between Expenses and Passive Income: USD 2,250

Therefore, a healthy EF should be USD 2,250 x 12 = USD 27,000
If I did not have the passive income, I would have to try setting aside USD 48,000 as an EF.

Having an EF to cover a whole year's worth of expenses may be a little too much for some but at my age, finding a decent job with good pay is next to impossible. For younger people with a variety of skills, a three month EF may be sufficient.

You may argue that the rent is not a very stable source of passive income but, in my case, I would not have a hard time finding a new tenant in my rental property's area.

I am targeting to fully retire by January 2020 which is a little over 2,5 years away. What if I lose my job earlier than that? I will definitely try going back to consulting to see if I can pull in enough income without having to downsize. I would give this a try for at least a year.

If that doesn't work, I will definitely downsize. My apartment is already small but it is worth more than a larger apartment elsewhere and my monthly maintenance fees are high. I can easily buy two apartments at the location of my rental property if I sell this one. That way, I would create another source of rental income by renting one of the apartments and living in the other.

That means I would have to move out of Istanbul which is something I really do not want to do. So, we shall see what the future holds for me in a couple of years. I just gotta keep saving as much as I can, while I can.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tried something for Insomnia: 432 Hz music

Yesterday night, I decided to try a YouTube Meditation technique to put myself to sleep. The first video I listened to was about relaxing and had very low background music. A lady was almost whispering techniques to relax. It helped me get a bit sleepy but not so much. So, I switched to an Irish music video. I probably fell asleep within 15 minutes. Mind you, I was not watching those videos. I was just listening to them.

The important thing was I read somewhere that 432 Hz music is better for the body and the soul. It may be a myth. However, on reading that, I looked for 432  Hz.music and found meditative videos and used them.

They also say, some people enjoy benefits of 528 Hz music as well. 

I do not mind the mythical hypotheses about these two frequencies. Whatever floats my boat i.e. puts me to sleep, is OK. If there are true healing powers associated with these, fine. Icing on the cake.

I enjoy Celtic music and American Native Music anyhow, so, I will keep on using them to get to sleep.

I also checked my sleep pattern and found out that I had at least two solid hours of deep sleep. That truly is great because, I was not getting any deep sleep lately. 

I will keep on experimenting.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mom and Technology

Here is a phone conversation we had over the weekend:

Mom: The new apartment management sent a circular. What is my e-mail address?
- You don't have one.
Mom: They are asking for it.
- Give them my e-mail address
Mom: But, they are asking for mine.
- I can get you one in a minute, but will you check it out regularly?
Mom: No, I won't (without even any hesitation)
- Ok then, you can give them my address. I check it out every day and several times.
Mom: They are also asking for the License Plate of the car.(She doesn't drive. My own car is in her garage for her and my uncle's use since I am driving a company car)
- I will send you both my e-mail address and the LP over whatsapp as soon as we hang up. (She can use whatsapp yay!)
Mom: They are asking for wishes and suggestions. What should I put here?
- Your wishes and suggestions if there are any.
Mom: No, May be I should just thank them.
- You can tell them you would like to pay the monthly apartment fee through a bank, instead of handing it to a person.
Mom: Oh, they did that. There is an IBAN number for electronic fund transfers. How am I ever going to pay that this way?
- You don't have to do anything. Just give my sister the number and she will set up automated payments for you. Since she manages your bank account, you do not have to think about this again.
Mom: Oh, that's good, I will give it to her.

She has no patience or will to learn anything new. If her parents were alive, they would have been much more interested I am sure.

My grandma used to keep the books of the pharmacy my uncle owned while he was serving in the army back in the early 80s. I had noticed that she was taking the sums manually and controlling her calculation by use of a small calculator. I had also noticed that she was not using the memory function. So, whenever she made a mistake, she would start all over again. I asked her why she wasn't using the memory function and she said, she did not know. Then she asked me to show her and thanked me several times since that was so easy. She was a handywoman and could fix even some electrical items. She was always curious to learn new things. Mom? Not at all...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

TGI Thursday!

This week is a short one due to a National Holiday tomorrow. Here are my plans:

- Prepare the winter clothes and shoes to take home and put away
- Eat the leftovers
- Do a load of laundry
- Wait until the traffic gets better and go home

- Pick up my new glasses
- Sort through my shoes and organize my shoe racks, separate items to donate
- Walk
- Do some healthy cooking for the weekend

- Sort through clothes, separate items to donate
- Prepare warm weather clothing to bring to the studio
- Walk
- Meet friends at a cafe/bar for dinner

- Walk
- Rest

Except for the one night I will be out, I do not want to eat outside. So, I must figure out some healthy stuff to prepare.

I am looking forward to doing these chores which I have postponed many times and be done with them. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Feeling Under the Weather

This year, the winter took too long. The weather is still mostly bad. It is cloudy and rainy almost every single day.

I feel depressed, old, slow and ready to retire for good. Usually, I feel very sleepy after dinner and dose off for an hour or so and then I cannot go to sleep properly. I manage to fall asleep close to the morning and when I have to wake up, I am not well rested.

I need some sunny and warm days, some time to rest and re-charge.

Thankfully, we are off on Friday and the long weekend may do me some good.

I can go to sleep right now at my desk as I am typing this and expecting my lunch to be delivered.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Exercise Log and Weekend Notes

I was able to walk more than 5,000 steps each day over the weekend. So, YAY ME!

I also cooked healthy lunches to bring to work.

Cleaned up my trunk and ran many necessary errands.

All in all, it was a busy and good weekend and finally it was warm enough to go around with just a t-shirt during the day.

I desperately needed work clothes so, I bought three pairs of pants and 5 tops. They were on the expensive side but I have no choice being the size that I am. Until my visit to the US in late August, I am not going to spend money on anything else.

I must go through my wardrobe and shoes to find out what needs to be thrown out and what needs to be donated. This coming weekend is a long one with the 19th being a National Holiday. It is probably the best time to do this.

As I was shopping, I got hungry and sat down to have lunch at a cafe. The people sitting next to me were a young girl and a guy with their mothers. Apparently, they have decided to take their relationship to the next level and decided to introduce mothers on Mother's Day. I think that was sweet but, as they were perusing the menu, the girl's mom said something about wanting home-style potato fries. The guy being truly tactless, jumped in to say that they stay away from carbs and gave a long speech about unhealthy carbs. Haha! That is your MIL-to-be you idiot!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Exercise Log

Only 4330 steps yesterday :(

I am determined to do better but, this is going to take more time than I have imagined. I never realized, I am in an extremely poor shape.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Never a Dull Moment Continued

BossMan told his wife that he will let Irene go. He told me Irene needs to call Olivia and apologize or at least makes amends with her.

Once that is done, he will tell his wife that he gave her another chance.

The problem is Irene is very proud. She would rather leave the company than apologize to Olivia who once used to be her good friend. She believes Olivia sent such a stern and mean message on purpose knowing that she would react as she did.

I am trying to reason with her telling he that she still needs to work and it is not just her. She has a family and she has responsibilities.

I truly do not want her to go and I think BossMan ants to keep her too but his pride has been hurt since he was cc'ed in Irene's backlash.

In a few minutes, I will sit Irene down for another "reasoning" session.

On the other hand, even though I understand why BossMan wants Irene to have a heart to heart with Olivia, I am dreading the outcome of that meeting if Olivia accepts to meet with Irene. Both women are stubborn and proud.

What a stupid mess!

I will let you know how this ends when I find out.

Meanwhile all your suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Never a Dull Moment (Warning: This is a long story albeit an interesting one)

It seems like there is never a dull moment in my life. Now, I am going to summarize you what I have to deal with:

The company I work for is a small company with a very pleasant young boss in his late thirties whom I will call BossMan. There is an assistant who is a nice woman in her early forties whom I will call Irene. Irene is an old friend of BossMan's wife whom I will call Olivia.

Apparently, Olivia started to work in this company many years ago and had Irene hired as an assistant. Then Olivia and BossMan fell in love and got married. Olivia left work.

After the marriage, Irene was asked to help with the matters of the home gradually such as finding handymans, painters and such. BossMan's mom got friendly with Irene too and she too started asking her assistance in certain matters. (One may argue that none of these were Irene's job but, mind you this is a very small company and as an executive assistant, she was expected to comply with these tasks).

At one point, the MIL and Olivia had a falling out in their relationship and both of them confided in Irene who says she tried to keep her distance as much as she could. Of course, she got sucked into it and meanwhile, demands of the two women multiplied. Right about that time Irene and Olivia also had an argument over how Irene was favoring the MIL instead of Olivia. I am not going to argue if that was true or not. Who knows? That is when Irene talked to the BossMan to say that she no longer wanted to deal with the home stuff anymore. BossMan did not like it but he told Irene to stay out of it as much as possible and use the driver to run errands for both of the ladies.

This was about two years ago. Olivia and Irene were not talking to each other at this point.

Up until now, Irene utilized the driver to take care of many errands without a problem. We have hired a new driver about 5 months ago and the new guy is a bit different than the old one.

The new driver is a nervous fellow and is truly being ill used by Olivia and the two helpers working at home. Last week he had been asked to do something which he did not want to or could not do. He asked Irene to do it and Irene blew him off. So, apparently he complained to Olivia about this and Olivia sent a very stern and mean message to Irene. Irene operates on a somewhat short fuse and sent an equally stern message back to Olivia, keeping the BossMan in cc.

Come Monday, BossMan came in to work, noticeably upset. He really likes Irene and they had been working for almost 10 years together. He wanted to talk to me and said that he is compelled to let Irene go because of the way her message was worded. He felt stepped over.

Now, I do not want Irene to be fired because, Irene has two kids at 4 and 12 years of age. Has a mortgage and a car payment. She is well liked by the team members and her leaving would be very upsetting.

I told the BossMan that he should not take what Irene fired back personally and that we should figure out a way to keep Irene. He was reluctant at first but since he is a good guy, he somewhat relented.

More on this tomorrow...

Exercise Log May 9th

Yesterday, I walked home (if you can call the studio apartment that) and managed to get in my 5,000 steps overall.

Walked 10 minutes Sat 3 Minutes
Walked 28 minutes Sat 8 Minutes
Walked 5 more minutes

Normally, this should not take more than 20 minutes. Until, I can walk this distance in 20 minutes and without stopping, I will keep my daily walking goal at 5,000 steps. Pushing too much at 50 can be harmful.

However, leaving the car at work turned out to be a bad idea. I wanted to walk back to work this morning but, it was raining. So, I called the company driver and luckily he was able get me. Since it was raining, finding a cab would be impossible.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Weekend and Monday

I was unable to walk 5000 steps over the weekend due to very heavy rain. Come to think of it, I could have Walked Away The Pounds with  Leslie Sansone. However, I did chores around the apartment and spent both days constantly moving.

I was able to get rid of more clutter but, I think a few more rounds of this activity is necessary

On Saturday, I managed to order new glasses. I ordered a pair of sunglasses too. That is my birthday present for my 50th  birthday coming up in June.

Progressive lenses are so darn expensive. If I were not working full time, I would consider using regular glasses for driving and reading separately. I am working so, one pair of glasses that I can wear all day long is much more manageable than two and I can afford them.

I do not have visual coverage in my insurance and the Government pays only a laughable amount of money so, I do not even try to use that coverage.

Yesterday, I brought lunch from home. It was enough for two meals so, I am having half of the veggie dish I brought today too. I walked 5,000 steps yesterday but it was more walking from store to store at a huge mall rather than walking at a steady pace.

If the weather permits tonight, I will walk again, this time at a steady pace. My back hurt for a while yesterday night but the pain subsided later on.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Starting to Exercise

I am in real bad shape. My weight is off the charts and my back is killing me and I feel like I am being sucked into a maelstrom.

I always postpone exercise, because my back hurts, because I do not feel like it, because I am too tired, because, because, because...

So, I gave myself an ultimatum: "T'pol, you will never get into shape unless you start moving. I do not care, if you have to take breaks every few hundred yards, if your back hurts or if you burst into tears like a spoiled kid. Chop, chop! Start moving!"

I have decided to start walking 5,000 steps each day and gradually go up to 10,000 steps as recommended by the doctors. I am going to check the indoor pool at the apartment complex. I found out that, they clean it on Mondays so, I can at least go for a swim on Tuesday and Wednesdays. I do not like pools thinking they are icky.

Yesterday, I walked 5712 steps in total. 3504 steps were exercise related.

I am going to share the tally of my exercise here every day so that, I have a record of it.

23 min walk 7 min rest
10 min walk 13 min rest
14 min walk

My ultimate goal is to be able to walk for an hour straight without resting and walk over 10,000 steps every day.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bummer! No Chios Trip

Mom and I were supposed to go tho Chios but her passport is expiring at the end of June and she needed at least 3 months of validity (don't understand why for a 4 day trip). We postponed till Fall.

I decided to go back top work tomorrow. So, I am saving two vacation days.

I should have checked everything properly but this never occurred to me.


At least I got to see my sister and brother in law. More on that later. They want to purchase an apartment.